Card Readers …

If you’ve read the syllabus, you know that I recommend downloading your images from your camera’s card instead of directly from the camera with a USB cable.

There are a few reasons for this.

  1. It’s usually much faster.
  2. Some cameras require you to download software before you can download directly from the camera. That software often comes free with the camera, but it’s not usually the best choice of software for downloading and organizing images.
  3. It’s safer. If your camera’s batteries die in the middle of a download, you could corrupt the memory card and lose all the images on it.

The best way to download your images is to remove the memory card from your camera and use a card reader to download them to your computer.

Pros once had to spend up to $100 for super-duper fast card readers capable of downloading multiple cards at the same time. The cost of carder readers has declined recently, and even professional level card readers, with the latest standards, can be had for less than $20.

First, know what kind of card your camera uses.  SD (Secure Digital) cards have become the standard for consumer level DSLRs, and even many professional models. If you buy a high end SD card, sometimes the card reader will come with it. You can buy a basic SD card reader for less than $10, such as the Kingston Digital MobileLite.


You can probably find something comparable and cheap just about anywhere locally that sells electronics, too. Wherever you shop, look for the USB 3.0 interface. Places like Walmart often sell readers with the older USB 2.0 interface. Try to avoid those. You will really appreciate the speedier downloads of USB 3.0, especially when you are transferring hundreds of photos or video files.

Higher end professional cameras and older consumer cameras often use the larger CF (Compact Flash) cards. You could buy a dedicated CF card reader, but I really recommend one of the multi-card readers. One of these can cover all of you downloading needs from just about any device you might use.

The Transcend TS-RDF9K All-in-One USB 3.1/3.0 UHS-II Card Reader and the Kingston USB 3.0 High-Speed Media Reader are both professional level, compatible with all of the latest card standards, and cost less than $20.








Whatever you decide, just get a card reader!

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions or need recommendations.


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